Killed street trader’s family: ANC ditched us

2014-01-19 06:00

The family of Forster Rivombo, a street trader who was allegedly killed by Tshwane metro police during a clean-up of the city’s streets, has accused the ANC in the region of reneging on its promises to help bury Rivombo today.

Rivombo’s older brother, Stanley, told City Press yesterday afternoon that they were left hanging by the ruling party after the regional leadership promised to foot the bill for his brother’s funeral in Giyani, Limpopo.

According to mourners who travelled to Giyani yesterday to bury Rivombo, the family was forced to ask community members to pitch in for Rivombo’s body to be released from the mortuary for the funeral after the ANC had failed to pay.

But the ANC in Tshwane denied not honouring its promises and said it had only promised the family it would pay for the undertaker and a taxi to transport the family to Giyani.

About 200 street traders from around Tshwane were still stranded in the city centre late yesterday afternoon after the buses they were promised did not pitch. They had gathered on the corner of Church and Van der Walt streets to make the journey to the funeral.

Some were forced to hike to Giyani as they had not made alternative arrangements for transport, believing the ANC would provide buses.

Stanley said his family was struggling to understand why the ANC had reneged on its promises.

“We have problems now. The ANC came to us and promised to help, and we genuinely believed they would. But they did not buy food or pay for transport,” said Stanley.

Rivombo’s death angered hawkers in Tshwane, who accused the City of Tshwane mayor Sputla Ramokgopa of “killing people who are trying to fend for themselves”.

At Rivombo’s memorial service this week, Tshwane mayoral committee member for sport, recreation, arts and culture Nozipho Makeke braved an angry crowd of street hawkers and told mourners that the ANC would help the Rivombos with funeral costs.

“We only discussed the costs for the undertaker and for a kombi to take the family to Giyani,” said Makeke before referring further questions to Tshwane ANC deputy chairperson Paul Mojapelo.

But Mojapelo’s phone rang unanswered and when City Press tried to call Makeke again, a woman answered and said Makeke was in a meeting.

Shoes Maloka, the leader of the Tshwane Barekisi Forum, expressed disappointment with the ANC.

“When we call them about the funeral, they say they are in meetings. They’re playing games. We trusted the ANC, but they left us in a dilemma because we don’t have money to go to the funeral. They didn’t even buy the food or the coffin. They promised us many things, but they chose to forget about us,” said Maloka, whose forum represents hundreds of street traders in Tshwane.

Tshwane ANC Youth League co-ordinator Lesego Makhubela denied that the ANC had ditched the Rivombo family and said the party honoured its promises.

Makhubela referred questions to a funeral “organiser” by the name of Makgotho, who reiterated that the ANC was footing the bill for the burial.

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